McConnell: Voting Bill Aims to 'Federalize All Elections' to Benefit 'Democrats at the Expense of the Republicans'

By Susan Jones | June 16, 2021 | 5:14am EDT
Senate Republicans hold a news conference on pending legislation on June 15, 2021. (Photo: Screen capture)
Senate Republicans hold a news conference on pending legislation on June 15, 2021. (Photo: Screen capture)

( - H.R. 1 or S-1, the Democrats' voting "rights" act, doesn't have the support of a single Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday, because it is a "partisan effort" intended to "federalize all elections to try and achieve a benefit for the Democrats at the expense of the Republicans."

The Senate minority leader told reporters on Tuesday that Republicans had "an extensive discussion" of the so-called "For the People Act," and they've decided that it's not for the people -- it's for the politicians, specifically, for the Democrat politicians:

Number one, we had an extensive discussion of S. 1, H.R. 1, which...the majority leader's indicated it'll be on the floor next week. We have taken a good hard look at how the American public would feel about this.

They clearly oppose most of the major provisions. They oppose turning the Federal Election Commission into a partisan operation, in other words going from a judge to a prosecutor. They overwhelmingly oppose using public dollars, taxpayer dollars, to spend on political campaigns. They overwhelmingly support what is prevented in H.R. 1, which is photo ID at the polls.

So, think of this as exactly what it is -- a partisan effort by the majority to take over at the federal level all of American elections. They've been trying to do this for several years, by the way.

The rationale for doing it has basically changed each year, but the core desire they have is to federalize all elections to try and achieve a benefit for the Democrats at the expense of the Republicans. Not surprisingly, there will not be a single Republican who supports it.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) noted that the Constitution gives the states sovereignty on election matters:

"That's the way it's always worked, and there isn't anything in this bill that I can imagine the American people are going to want to see enacted to law, whether it's having taxpayers pay for federal elections, or whether it's politicizing the FEC, or whether it's codifying ballot harvesting or doing away with voter ID.

"This is a piece of legislation that needs to die, and die quickly," Thune said, "and it's regrettable that the Senate Democrats have decided to waste an entire week of the Senate's floor time when there are so many important issues we ought to be dealing with--dealing with something they know is destined to fail."

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) told the news conference that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his fellow Democrats are aiming for "a complete federal takeover of the election process in America."

"We talk about voter harvesting," Barrasso said:

I mean, that's when they have paid operatives that go door-to-door, neighborhood to neighborhood, nursing home to nursing home, collect ballots, and then those people unsupervised get to decide which of those ballots they actually want to turn in and which of those ballots they get to throw away.

That's not what Americans want. What the Democrats are proposing is eliminating voter ID. That's where people, when you go and ask for a ballot, and you tell them who you are, you need to actually show an identification to show it is who you say you are. Great majorities of American people believe that is exactly the way voting should be done and you can have integrity in the ballots.

So, we're at a point where Republicans are focusing on the things that people need and care about, and tell us affect their lives, while Chuck Schumer continues to play politics.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said polls show "Americans completely disagree with what they're trying to do with S. 1."

"Americans believe you should have an ID when you vote. They don't believe in ballot harvesting. They don't believe that we should--the government should take tax dollars and give it to politicians to run attack ads.

"So, when they--when Chuck Schumer goes and gets the Democrats to vote for S. 1, he's actually hurting the Democrats, because it's not what the public agrees with."

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